Direct Quote from My Daughter: a.k.a. Feminine Wonder

Great joy was had today by Sweet 5 and Strong 6.

A perfect day to race big wheel and trike down the mountain drive.

Many races were held. Winners traded places.

Then- the ….crash.

Spoken amidst tears and great consternation…

“I am never going to ride bikes again. You get so—- dirty!!!”

Dirt was found in some unique places. Thankfully, no blood or scratches.

That’s my girl….

I am sure she will ride bikes again- hair streaming in the wind, legs tucked up, joy stretched across her face.

I am sure she will beat strong six again, too. Much to his consternation. She is one fast little cookie.

But

she is still my feminine wonder.

My marvel.

Growing up amidst those strong saplings.

She can hold her own.

But she is still my girl.

Family Day

Yesterday was a Family Day! The hills(mountains) are aflame with autumn color.  Here in our town, it was the annual Pumpkin Fest. The children love to watch the “punkin roll.”  People roll pumpkins down the biggest hill in our town. The longest roll wins! Our family delights in the many, varied pumpkins that roll down that hill and in the quick jumping that sometimes ensues when a wily one rolls off course and underfoot!

We also visited Todd’s office space. It was my first time inside his place in Federal Group. I enjoyed, very much, meeting coworkers- and noting the beautiful Scripture paintings on the walls. There was a Biltmore House painting. Beautiful!

We planned our visit to the pumpkin roll- followed by lunch at Wayah Bald Tower. We snaked through the windy mountain- til we turned off on the dirt, single lane road.  We crept up this road slowly, making way for cars on the way down.  Finally we arrived. The temperature dropped ten degrees from our time in the center of town til we made it up the mountain!

Out we tumbled, thankful for Todd’s oversight in gathering jackets for everyone. I had planned this visit- realizing that this weekend was peak color in the mountains. Glorious, it truly was. Everywhere you looked- on the drive up and once there- were cascades of lovely, autumn color. Also, thanks to the plentiful rain we have had in the last two months- little waterfalls were tumbling here and there- along with a lovely river whose level was much higher than last year. It was so beautiful. I told Todd- it was like being inside a postcard. It really was.

It is hard to take pictures that do justice to the view from Wayah Bald. You are literally almost up in the clouds.  Chunks of clouds swirl around tops of mountains like gauzy scarves- while farther up- white streaks blue. 

We ended up eating our lunch in the car, after our visit. It was much warmer! And, Wayah Bald had many visitors enjoying the autumn sunshine. 

After our return home-

we cut hair. Todd cut the boys. I cut Todd’s. Even little Joshua received his first hair cut. So now he has a little man-cut. It is always so hard to let those baby curls go.  Later- as I was working in the kitchen- it seemed that every time I turned around- I saw someone with a buzz cut! 5 boys and a man with the same hair cut… but then my son pointed to my little girl. Of course- her hair wasn’t buzzed!  Abi and I make a date of our hair cuts and have girl time!

We ended our day with home-made pizza (no cheese!) and kettle popcorn with a family movie- cozied up in the family room.

We made a family memory and truly got to appreciate the fall beauty that is on display- everywhere.

Beauty

Every peak ablaze with color.

Undulating hills

of golden

red fire

as far as the eye

can

see.

Each bough stretched high

against

blue

sky.

Curled misty

cloud breath

swathed

round

and round.

Every peak ablaze with color.

Boughs reach high, stretch toward

strong winds

restlessly shaking.

Shaking

leaves

that

cling

tenanciously.

Some

drift

in gentle

twirling

color.

Their days of glory

over.

Undulating hills

of color

as far as eye can see.

And hidden

in the midst

glory;

waterfalls

twisting thru

the mountainscape.

Some gentle

frothy rapids

leaping

through

discarded

color.

Every peak ablaze with color.

as far as eye can see.

You Are Special

“Every day I’ve been hoping you’d come,” Eli explained.

 “I came because I met someone who had no marks,” said Punchinello.

“I know. She told me about you.”

“Why don’t the stickers stay on her?”

The maker spoke softly. “Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them.”

“What?”

“The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.” “I’m not sure I understand.”

Eli smiled. “You will, but it will take time. You’ve got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.”

 Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on the ground.

“Remember,” Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the door, “you are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”

from pages 30,31 of You are Special by Max Lucado    

The children and I were all gathered on the couch. I pulled You are Special off of our shelf. We snuggled in together and settled in for our story. How timely and appropriate this choice was for us, this particular day. You see, I have been carefully trying to instill a sense of honor in my children. It is slow going.  

It all started when I began slowing working my way through: Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in  you and your kids! by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  I am still slowly working through this book. I was struck by their definition of honor: Treating people as special; Doing more than expected; And having a good attitude- adapted from page 13.

Treating people as special….

I realized how often my children are NOT treating each other as special, as a prized friend, as someone very precious.  In fact, in some ways, they have been the ones “putting marks” on the other with their unkindnesses and selfish ways.

I read this description from page 20:   

“We teach our children that being a Rivera is special. We’re not just out for ourselves. We work as a team. When a job needs to be done, the Rivera team pulls together… We treat each other as special. Meanness is not acceptable because it doesn’t fit our identity. Angry outbursts require an apology because hurtful words aren’t consistent with the idea that we value each other.”  

Meanness is not acceptable because it doesn’t fit our identity…hurtful words aren’t consistent with the idea that we value each other…  

I have been working to instill in the children- that the Borgers don’t act that way. We act like- this (and then I give an example). We treat each other as special. Each person is very special and we must treat each other in that way.   

I was surprised- when- after a few days- one of the little ones reported an incident to me and informed me that a certain child was not treating a certain other child as special because they said/did this.  It reminded once again- the life-giving importance of my formative instruction in their precious lives. I must renew again- my mind- that I can instruct them in the way they should go. What I had shared was so small- and yet it was powerfully internalized by my three year old.

This is sobering, indeed.

So- when I gathered those children- and chose that specific book… I was hoping for impact.

I was unprepared for the quiet concentration that was held by the five children old enough to comprehend the story. I was unprepared for the impact that God’s love- touching little hearts with grace, with mercy, was having in that space, on my couch, together.

 Each one…”you are special.”  

Indeed- each one- “fearfully and wonderfully made”, a precious gift, a blessing from the Lord, crafted for His purpose and His glory. Their paths- lights to shine in the darkness of their generation.  

You are Special because of Who made you.

When we work to treat each other in light of that truth… we come a little closer to showing the world- Jesus.

“This is my commandment that you love one another that your joy might be full.”

Wee Sing Bible Songs #19

On Patience

I readthis… this week.  It ministered to me. My energy level has been low. I have been recovering from an infection. I have been schooling our children and resting when able. Some things have gone undone- and when I looked around our home this weekend- I was discouraged. Discouraged by piles and papers. Downhearted in my abilities to manage our home.  However, if I have “let some things go” for the sake of something better- a higher priority… something important in the Lord- I am not doing wrong- and as the writer of the above article states- I should count it a success and not a failure. I will.

The Power of Music: Part 2

The Power to Transform Atmosphere

Our family has been on a journey in the past year. Holy-Spirit inspired connections leading one into another…

Some of these connections are posts for another day…. but one special connection pertains to The Power of Music.

In the past year, our family has been specially affected and minstered to by Keith Green. It is hard to gather all of this into words. I hope -one day- my husband will guest post on this very topic. Perhaps The Power of Music: Part 3.

But I am going to do my best to capture the essence of this for us.

Keith Green’s music contains The Power to Transform Atmosphere.  Indeed all good worship music does this. The Spirit of the Lord is present in this worship- and He fills our home with His Spirit which bears His fruit. But for our family, his music(Keith Green’s) seems specially able to transform our home and family.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23 ESV

Last Christmas, I gave my husband the new edition of Keith Green’s biography. That led to us watching his documentary, which led to us collecting more of his CD’s, which led to us listening to more of his music… which led to a powerful change in the atmosphere of our home!

Todd’s refreshed interest in Keith Green came from a series of evangelism talks he was listening to. The speaker played “Asleep In the Light” near the end of one of the talks.

 

“The world is sleeping in the dark

that the church just can’t fight

cause its asleep in the light

How can you be so dead

When you’ve been so well fed

Jesus rose from the grave

And you, you can’t even get out of bed”

 – From Asleep in the Light by Keith Green

This powerful song has the ability to just grasp your heart and shake the cobwebs off  the spiritual slumber!

It is his heart- the soul behind the music and words- that captures us and just brings in that sense of God’s Presence.

Now, I will say, that some of  his music has some qualities that can throw you back to the 70’s in a second. Sometimes the lyrics (on some of the songs Live Special Edition for example) are not that polished… but the heart, the spirit… it is anointed of God.

Here are some scriptures toward praise and worship: its worthiness and its power-

Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. NIV

2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of  Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. ESV

Ephesians 5:18-20 Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. NIV

Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. KJV

I have found that one of the quickest ways I can change a sour, flesh-filled, or strife- filled attitude in my home- is to choose some godly music and fill our home with it!

Success

These words from Laura Ingalls Wilder really “spoke” to me this week. Facing challenges requiring perserverance and endurance… it can be hard to carry on at times and press through.

“Well, Laura! You are a schoolteacher now! We knew you would be, didn’t we? Though we didn’t expect it so soon.”

“Do you think I can, Pa?” Laura answered. “Suppose… just suppose… the children won’t mind me when they see how little I am.”

“Of course you can.” Pa assured her. “You’ve never failed yet at anything you tried to do, have you?”

“Well, no,” Laura admitted. “But I…I never tried to teach school.”

“You’ve tackled every job that ever came your way,” Pa said. “You never shirked, and you always stuck to it till you did what you set out to do. Success gets to be a habit, like anything else a fellow keeps on doing.” -From These Happy Golden Years  by Laura Ingalls Wilder (pgs 2-3) emphasis mine.

What are your challenges this week?

In our family, we are home schooling; seeking to impart godly heritage and raise/train six young children for God; pressing through a very hard graduate tax course for Todd;  adjusting to tax season(our 4th year!) in the tax software industry; and living life for God in WNC.

I am hoping to “never shirk but stick to it until I do what I have set out to do.”

In His Grace

~Rebecca